Philippine Business for Social Progress
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Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) is the largest corporate-led social development foundation in the Philippines. Committed to poverty reduction, PBSP is the first of its kind in Asia leading the promotion and practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR). More than 260 large, medium-scale and small businesses comprise PBSP. Together, PBSP members help the poor rise above poverty and become self-reliant. PBSP operates nationwide, with programs in Education, Health, Sustainable Livelihood, Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development, and the Environment implemented with partners and communities as empowered players in development. Since its inception in 1970, PBSP has benefited 4.5 million Filipinos and assisted over 6,200 social development projects through more than PHP 7 billion in grants and development loans. Leading the way in the practice of corporate citizenship, PBSP has been influencing companies to integrate CSR into their core businesses, and advocating the application of business solutions to poverty.
Founded in 1970, PBSP is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, which led a consortium of corporations in the advocacy and practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship. It was modeled after the Venezuelan Dividendo Voluntario para la Comunidad, adopting self-taxation for its poverty alleviation programs.
For more than three decades, PBSP has been the business sector’s vehicle in delivering organized, professional and sustainable assistance to the Filipino poor, particularly the landless farmers, fisher folk, rural workers, urban poor and indigenous cultural communities.
PBSP was established in 1970, during a period of national and economic unrest. Fifty Filipino businessmen pledged to set aside 1% of their companies’ net income before taxes to pursue poverty reduction programs. Through the Foundation, the business community’s pool of resources would create a difference in the lives of the poor.
Realizing that “helping people help themselves” was no easy task, we capitalized on our strength as a corporate-led foundation to develop our unique strategy of applying management skills and business sensibilities in our approach to social development.
In the 1980s, we focused our efforts on the poorest 15 provinces in the country where at least 40% of the families live below the poverty line, where we have been involved in the past, and where there were partner organizations we could work with.
In the 1990s, we redefined our strategy to focus on “impact areas”. We implemented the Area Resource Management (ARM) Program, the first PBSP program to consider environmental conservation as a goal and success indicator.
In the early 2000s, we started workforce development as a core strategy, asserted our role in Mindanao (specifically basic services such as health and education), and spearheaded the business sectors’ support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In the last half decade, we have seen an improvement from our beneficiaries in five key aspects: Livelihood, Education, Enterprise Development, Health and Water, and Area Resource Management. Most importantly, we were able to increase our assisted communities’ participation in development.
Millennium development movement
PBSP has been tapped by the United Nations to spearhead the implementation of the business sector’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Four clusters were established to champion the causes of Poverty, Education, Environment and Health.
Geared towards the realization of the MDGs, the commitments of the clusters are programs that focus on: the promotion of reproductive and family health in the workplace and in the community, creation of an integrated education program, adoption of water conservation and sustainability measures, popularization of waste reduction and management, and direct involvement of the business sector in poverty reduction.